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Mistreatment of employees

Complaint Rating:  86 % with 87 votes
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Beavus Complaints - Mistreatment of subcontractors
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Posted: 2009-09-09 by Beavus

Mistreatment of subcontractors

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Accentus Medical transcription

Hi, I have worked with Accentus medical transcription company earlier this year and have found that it was a horrible experience. I initially loved it as I could work from home, however, after I got through their gating period, I then was paid less - went from $1.50 to $1.17 per audio minute which was the standard rate for anyone. The dictations then got harder, more was expected of you, you also had to do at least 200 audio minutes a week or risk being charged rental fees. Plus to make matters worse, I had two different team leaders. One was very good and followed the QA hospital guidelines to a tee, the next one I had marked me so hard, didn't always follow QA guidelines, and then put me back into the gaiting period and eventually I was terminated with no severance pay, just a email stating that I lacked research skills and that despite being on the 95% percentile and improving, ! had to be within the 98%. I was so angry as I had spent so much time and money on medical resource materials and yet everything was my fault. I would not work for this company again as they pass you down to human resources and tell you to try again later when really they are saying see you later, don't bother us. I hate this company and the way I was treated and I want other people to know that although their experience with them may be different, be careful as you may wind up with no job and feeling totally useless and stupid!!
Complaint comments Comments (65) Complaint country Canada Complaint category Medical Negligence and Deficiency


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N  25th of Nov, 2009 by    0 Votes
Where did you take your medical transcription course and have you found new employment since?
A  24th of Feb, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I had a similar experience with this company. When I first contacted Accentus they were quite understanding of the fact that I did not have a lot of transcription experience, but had just graduated from an online medical transcription class, so they knew I was not an expert. They promised plenty of work but I needed to upgrade my computer so I spent $200 on upgrades. I was only available for them part-time but they put me on an account that would have taken a full-time transcriptionist plenty of overtime jut to learn all the ins and outs of that particular hospital. I printed off a 3 inch binder of instructions that were sent to me. Every single report I transcribed was placed in a below average level. Even if I spent a lot of time and thought I had the report perfect the leader found picky, picky errors. I soon lost all hope in ever becoming a medical transcriptionist as I knew I would never be able to get up to their standards. When I called the lead and asked if I could be put on an entry level contract I was told they did not have such a thing. I quit before my gating period was up as my self-esteem had been pushed down the tubes and I was very discouraged. Thank You to for the above message. I feel better knowing I am not the only one that is discouraged with Accentus.
A  7th of May, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I too had some very unprofessional treatment. Overall, I think most of the company is okay, but they do have some Team Leads sitting on their haunches who need to be booted out or paid by the minute. You will email them, ask good questions, make suggestions, etc. and yet all they do is ignore you. I worked there for over 2 1/2 years. When I asked the policy for a raise, I was ignored. They pay the same rate as they were paying back in 2002. Don't the other staff get regular raises? Why not the MTs. Without them, they don't have a company. The Team Leads, QAs can be terrible. They tell you to follow the Book of Style and yet mark you wrong when you do. This results in not getting your bonus. If you inquire, you are ignored or considered a troublemaker. VERY unprofessional.

I was on an account and worked very hard at it for over 2 years. It was constantly running out of work because they overstaffed it when they were busy (duh, plan ahead folks). When companies do this you know they only want to please the client, not the MT. There is no communication at all from the Team Leads, QA people, etc. I am not sure what they get paid for. They moved me to the worst account I have ever had. The program to access the account was never working and there were a dozen screens to log into before you could type. I worked for 3 days on this without pay. When I called to ask for another account, I was told to wait it out. I don't see any of the office people working for free. It is unconscionable.

I think it's time the Government was involved. You can't say someone is a subcontractor and yet tell them what you will pay them and they have the right to choose what work they will do. It's against Government policy. These companies get away with murder by not hiring you as an employee. In the end, it is the subcontractor who loses. That needs to change. When I quit the account and asked for a new one, no one contacted me. Can you imagine, here I am still having the confidential hospital programs on my computer, some foot pedals, and still not a peep from them.
A  9th of Sep, 2010 by    +2 Votes
The minimum wage in Canada is $10. Everyone should make at least $10 an hour. If Accentus cannot provide the work, they should pay you $10 for sitting around and waiting for the system to come up again. As well, you are an independent contractor. You work when you damn well please - not when they tell you to work. If you sign a contract to work a minimum of 200 minutes a week, then they should sign a contract promising you $10 an hour to cover those minutes. They cannot expect you to work for ages on a tiny report because the audio is complete crap, and work 7 days a week for less than minimum wage. It's a scam. Work at home MTs need to be unionized. That way, everyone gets a fair shake. Don't worry, it will change eventually, and companies like Accentus will probably go belly up because they don't make the huge profits anymore on MTs backs who sit at home like sweat shop workers in the third world.
A  9th of Sep, 2010 by     Best Advice +4 Votes
Accentus can't have it all ways. Either you are an employee (where they pay you a decent wage and compensate you when their system is down and you are unable to work) or you are an independent contractor (where they do NOT tell you how many minutes you must achieve). Independent contractors work by their own rules. Also, they ask you to do tons of jobs for which you do not get paid. You only get paid by production. So they have to stop expecting you to do freebie extras (for which THEY bill the client but for which YOU get nada!)

Nevermind, they are in the process of being investigated (under the rug) by people in authority. These people send plants to get themselves hired and check out all the malpractice that is going on with these companies. It's only a matter of time before they are stopped in their exploitation of home workers who are only trying to make a living wage like everyone else (hospital union employees included).

Oh and by the way, not only do you NOT get a raise, but the rate of pay has actually gone DOWN from what it was a couple of years ago. They actually pay LESS than they used to!
N  13th of Jan, 2011 by    +3 Votes
The way I am trying to see it is they are a stepping stone towards working for a better company. I put in my time and in two years, apply somewhere better. Their IT department sucks. Their team leads suck. They pay amazingly low which results in a low quality of work. I have tried with this company for almost two years now to make it work. It only seems to get worse. Oh, and be ready for my all time favorite, "It's so busy we need everyone to work right now all the time to make our TATs". Then when there is no work, which I have experienced for almost three weeks now, "Sorry, I cannot predict when there will be work." But you better believe they still charge you their fee for a foot pedal every month even if they cannot provide you with enough work. I am beyond fuming with this company. I cannot wait to quit.
A  4th of Feb, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I feel relieved knowing that it's not only me who just got the same maltreatment by this company, Accentus. In a normal MT world, MTs are given enought timeframe where they will get the chance to familiarize with the doctors, their accents, styles, etc., and yet this company expects you to know all of them in a matter of a very short time and will make you feel that you are such an idiot and cannot comprehend. I agree with one of the comments that subcontractors should get unionized so we will be treated fairly. It was such a pain being with this company with so much pressure and stress but not being well compensated. Since their dictations are getting harder each day, I end up sitting in my computer for hours after my full-time work just to deliver the best transcript ever to the best of my ability and hence getting paid so much less. So, I decided to quit just even before getting pulled out before they said that my errors are terrible and made me feel such an idiot where in fact when they do corrections, they are also committing mistakes. I'd rather spend my time with my family rather than earning cents. Thank God, I'm spared of the more stress.
A  2nd of Mar, 2011 by    +3 Votes
Accentus used to pay $1.17/min? Now it's $1/15. what's up with that? I have 4 years of experience working as a transcriptionist in a hospital, and decided to give Accentus a try. Almost everything said above is true. They expect way too much too soon (and I myself have the experience and I can still say that). They took me out of gating after only 3 weeks (was supposed to be 10 weeks of gating, instead of the usual 6 weeks, because apparently it was a challenging account with lots of rules and too many people were quitting on them, so they made it 10 weeks of gating). Well I got told I was out of gating after 3 weeks, and then got an email from project manager asking me to type more than the standard 200 minutes that week if possible because they were behind because some people had called in sick. So I resigned. I was just out of gating for crying out loud, still getting used to all the stupid rules (the transcription part was easy), so I sent human resources a resignation by email, and within the hour that same project manager whipped me back two emails that were, in my opinion, abusive. I eneded up blocking her from emailing me and asking Humans Resources to stop her from emailing me. After all the work I put into that job learning the rules (which is time you don't get paid for), I hardly made any money off them but put so much time into it and that is how I get treated. I am so glad I quit when I did. Their team lead was excellent. The project manager is a mental case. I will NEVER go back to them EVER.
A  6th of Apr, 2011 by    +3 Votes
I began working for Accentus at the beginning of the year. They rushed me through gating in just 2 weeks, and put me on this giant account, with so many different specifics that I don't know how anyone (experienced or nay) could be able to handle it: 3 spaces here, indent there - but always different. My TL ran so hot and cold I didn't know what was going on. I was very quickly put back into gating, where they do not have to pay you the training fee any longer. I am fairly certain I was rushed out of gating only to save money, with Accentus having every intention of sending me back. I was failed on reports for infractions as small as missing a period. Now, I wouldn't have minded slowing down on the account if I was getting paid more than peanuts, but at .70 per minute of transcription it just wasn't viable. Not to mention the amount of administrative work that you are forced to do, without any compensation. For instance, every time there is a no dictation file, YOU must log it for them and remove it from the system to get another job in your queue. After waiting upwards of an hour to get the next report in the server, it is more than frustrating to find that the report you were assigned was a 'no dictation' file, and not a report at all. One minute your TL will tell you to do things one way (ie: searching through others' (often incorrect) reports to see what to do), and then very quickly after tell you that you were wrong, you need to do it a different way (ie: no! don't search through others' reports - that's wrong!) I smelled a scam when I first started, but being so eager and having spent so much on my education, I gave it my best. If you're with Accentus and having trouble, or considering starting with them, please heed the comments given here by myself and others and save yourself the money, time and self-esteem. Accentus is just shifty enough to be legitimate.
A  21st of Apr, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Wow, I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I started with them in November (well, tried to)...that's when I signed the contract, anyway. After that I didn't hear anything for a few weeks, but I figured that was probably because of Christmas. At the start of January they sent me the foot pedal, assigned me to an account, and set up my computer. Since then, there's been nothing but absolute silence from them. I emailed once a month for a couple of months and was last told I'd be getting trained "in a couple of weeks". That was the last I heard from them, about 10 weeks ago. As the weeks have passed, I too have been feeling more and more that they must be shady. I mean, really, what kind of company says they're taking you on as a worker and then refuses to communicate with you in any way?

Anyway, thanks for the posts, everyone. Sounds like I need to count my blessings!
N  22nd of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
Well it's been about two months since I resigned from them and they still have not contacted me to delete all the programs that they installed on my computer. Isn't that a security risk, though I am sure they disabled my passwords (I have not tried it, I am too scared of them accusing me of trying to access medical records illegally). I should not have programs on my computer that would enable me to access all the medical records at the hospital I was typing for. And apomixis, the same thing happened to me. Apparently that is quite normal for Accentus. They hire you but don't expect to actually start working for them for a month or two. I got hired just before Christmas last year and didn't start till February. It's a really good thing I still had my hospital job and didn't rely on them for my income. Otherwise I would be lining up for the food bank. I am so happy I never quit my hospital job for them, which was my plan if it worked out. It didn't.
N  16th of May, 2011 by    0 Votes
Charging rental fees especially when they don't provide work. OMG!!!
A  18th of Jun, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I got hired fairly recently, about 4 weeks after I applied online. It took 2 weeks for them to get me started from the time my contract was signed. I have to say that MadMT's experience is what I'm going thru.

I'm an MT newbie but feel very rushed. My team leads are both so busy that my training was rushed. The manual they gave me to print out and read (in my free time, unpaid) is poorly written. Not just spelling mistakes but it's so vague as to be useless. I wonder about the accuracy of the reports on my account, because when I look up previous reports to help me transcribe whichever job I'm doing, I still find spelling errors, bad grammar, inconsistent spacing/upper caps/punctuation/bolds. My impression's that they expect waaaaaaay too much out of new hires too soon. My TL's so picky that I spend much too long editing. I make as much now on an hourly basis as I did working fast food when I was 16! To cap it off, I've been failed for following my TL's orders. She tells me not to correct the doctors' poor grammar or switching of tenses, then I fail my QA because I transcribed the report as dictated with poor grammar and flip-flopping of tenses. Huh? The pay is low, not enough to live off of. Also IT takes AGES to get back to you!!! I spent an entire day doing transcription with no foot pedal and made about $12.

I was so looking fwd to a new career! It's disappointing for sure. I'm hanging onto the job for now while I look for something else, either as MT at a hospital or even going back to my old field because Accentus isn't working out.
N  19th of Jun, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I wish I had come across this board BEFORE accepting a job with Accentus! My experience was unpleasant. I was a new grad, so I was excited to launch into my new career. Oh boy was it rough. The Team Lead who did my training spent flew by everything in not enough time, and when I asked for clarification, she was as ambiguous as she was the first time to the point that I had to teach myself how to use the word processor. I was e-mailed three huge Word files to print off and read in my spare time, and let me tell you, the manuals and style guidelines must have been written by a 10-year-old based on how badly it was written. However, I continued on thinking that perhaps I would get the hang of it. My account had so many nitpicky guidelines that I spent ages flipping through the manual and searching past transcribed reports, many of which were wildly inconsistent from each other in style and spelling that I did not know what to follow! My QAs to begin with were 92% to 96%, my Team Lead's gating feedback was nil or negative, and she took around 15 to 20 minutes to get back to me whenever I asked her a question. I'm not going to waste time and throw away income waiting, and maybe I'm at fault for never passing a single day in gating, because I submitted reports and made notes of my blanks and questions with the submission. When I was in gating all of these advanced reports kept showing up in my job box that I wasn't allowed to do because they were assigned to the experienced MTs, and it took my Team Lead on average 15 mins. to clear them from my uploads box. During this time, I couldn't work because there weren't any "regular" files in my job box, so I sat around and did nil and made nil. By the end I was so uptight and my self-esteem crushed by the negativity that I was spending seriously up to 20 minutes on 3 minute dictation or voice recognition file so I could re-listen and edit, edit, edit, edit. My final paycheques averaged to $7.95/hour. I thought I was underpaid in my previous job but not so apparently! The accountant was even stunned to find out how little MTs at Accentus made.

I would like to say that the IT men are great. They are wonderful people and helpful! But they do take time to get back to an open ticket. My virtual machine crashed constantly and it kept kicking me out of the system, and then it was unable to read input from my foot pedal. I lost 1.5 paid days waiting for IT to get back to me and correct the problem.

All I have to say is that my time at Accentus was horrible. The training sucked. My Team Lead was alright, but I did have the impression she was overworked so I didn't see why the account couldn't have had about 3 Team Leads. When I quit I e-mailed HR, then faxed a resignation letter, which were never acknowledged. Nobody asked me about de-installing the software. I assume my passwords and usernames were de-activated. I still want to make a career of MT though, so I'm applying to hospitals around me and not letting Accentus put of off this job entirely.
A  28th of Jun, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Hi, I'm an ex MT. I got directed here because of all things my niece (disappointed_mt) told me about this site. She Like her I was thrilled to be hired by Accentus soon after graduation from MT school in 2010 in a new career because I was laid off from my job teaching ESL students. My "training" was 15 minutes with a motormouth team lead online, and then she emailed me multiple docs to study in my spare time because she didn't have time to go over it with me. The main guide for my account is outdated. It isn't even helpful, it is so badly written. My team lead runs hot-cold to the point I hesitate to ask for help because she'll either be nice or snap at me. My gating feedback is so contradictory, on one report it's something like "no comma needed if only two independent clauses are in a sentence" and another report for the same day is "You forgot commas in your sentences with two independent clauses". I was rushed out of gating and told to boost up my production because the account wasn't meeting the TAT then told within days to not do so much work because of my errors. At first I did no more than 30 minutes a day because I was so nitpicky about my work, re-listening to files several times and being 1000% positive I had no missed words, but then to find my team lead called me sloppy and careless and slow in feedback was the final straw.
A  29th of Jun, 2011 by    0 Votes
Got a recruitment email from them today titled "Accentus STAR Team - Apply Today". Funny stuff, considering it's been 6 months and they still haven't gotten my password set up yet (not that I will ever work for them now anyway, given what I know). Here's the email:

"Accentus is now recruiting for our Accentus Star Team. The Accentus Star Team will be used to implement all new clients and assist with production on accounts where turnaround times become issues.

To be a member of this team you will need to have comfort learning new clients (processes, style and dictators) and high commitment levels for production (producing >400 mins per week consistently).

The Star team will have access to premium rates, priority access to weekly dictation volume and variety of clients. To qualify MTs and team lead candidates must have a proven track record with Accentus, on multiple client accounts working on full acute care report types, including Operative Notes."
N  19th of Jul, 2011 by    +1 Votes
In addition to my previous posted Accentus problems, keep track of ALL your records for invoicing. There were problems with being underpaid every pay cycle, sometimes it was off by $5.00, the most was $57. BTW I'm happily working as an MT in a hospital now making $20+/hr, better team leads than at Accentus. I think it's interesting that the hospital I now work at has managers who are steadfast in not outsourcing extra work to Accentus because they have claimed that the quality is poor with too many spelling errors, wrong formatting, and the like. Despite not having been an Accentus IC for almost a year, I also go the star team e-mail! I also had my computer technician nephew wipe out the Accentus software from my computer as nobody from Accentus did.
A  11th of Oct, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I have been working as a transcriptionist since 1984 and used to be paid $20/hr working in a hospital. I now work for a U.S. company that was recently bought by Accentus and have been making 1/2 that amount. I do not work as a subcontractor but have experienced much of what is cited in this long list of complaints against Accentus. I am wondering if Accentus will soon change our status to subcontractors so that they won't have give us any medical benefits. We have about the same rights as farm workers before Caesar Chavez. The medical benefits we do have come with $100 co-pay for visits to anyone except a primary care provider. That is no benefit at all. In these times of high unemployment, I am fortunate to have a job but I am aware on a daily basis that I am being taken advantage of and being paid less than minimum wage for the time I spend on this job. They can get away with this by citing that their contract with us says that we are paid solely for the lines we produce. What appears to me to be illegal is that there is a long list of things that are considered part of our job but don't produce lines and for which we are not compensated. When I listed for myself all the things I do that are part of my job but which don't produce lines, it showed that I spend, AT THE VERY LEAST, 30 minutes a day without being compensated for my time. The company's software frequently fails, and we are expected to use our vacation time or work on weekends or outside our scheduled hours to make up for that. I love this work, but we are no longer compensated adequately for what was once a profession at which a person could make a decent living.
N  13th of Oct, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Fear not, I have it on good authority that a legal firm has agreed to take on a class action against Accentus. What Accentus is doing is not legal. It is all a one-way street, FOR THEM! If you work for Accentus or have worked for them in the past, you will soon be getting an e-mail from a legal firm asking if you would like to be included in the class action. Say yes. It's time to stop scamming home MTs. If a hospital can pay $20 per hour, Accentus can pay at least somewhere near that amount. Afterall, we are doing the same work as the hospital MTs. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel! The times they are a changing!
N  21st of Oct, 2011 by    +1 Votes
A few years ago I worked for Accentus and while I didn't experience any real abuse or anything of that nature, I did feel that my work was being nitpicked etc by them but I thought what the hell I am new to this whole thing. I had to produce alot of typing and in the end made very little money. The contract ended and so did my work with them. At that time I had approximately 1 year experience as a MT in a hospital setting. Fastword it approximately 4 years. I was looking for ways to supplement my income so I applied again. I got hired straight away but then I got an email destined to another person. I made appts to have software installed but never received email that I had to download a huge file. I am now having computer problems as I don't have space. It will cost me approximately $100.00 to have the memory put on my computer. The gentleman doing this for me can't understand any program needing that much memory. I signed contract but never did one bit of typing yet as I don't have money to fix computer now etc. I just came across this my accident and it is making me very nervous.

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